Monday, March 30, 2009

Could it Be?

While fixing breakfast this morning, I look out my back door and see a little squirrel frantically scurrying across the yard, the way that squirrels do. And I was SO excited - my first squirrel! A sure sign of warmer weather. And then the little rodent ran across the 4 feet of snow still remaining on my back patio and I second-guessed myself. Sigh...

But THEN, I went to work and the birds that had made a nest in the eaves of the store last year are BACK! Yay! I just stood there for a few minutes watching in wonder as they chirped and chirped, clearly annoyed at my gawking.

Isn't it amazing how a couple of little critters can enter your day and bring with them the hope of a new season?

I think I can finally say it - Happy Spring!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

What Goes Around Comes Around

As much as I love JT, I'm not planning to break out in song.

I've just been thinking about how the deeds were do are often reciprocated in kind.

Have you ever been in a checkout line with a million things and see someone behind you with one or two little items and let them go ahead of you?

Have you ever held the door open for a mom with kidlets in tow and arms loaded down?

Have you ever paid for the meal/coffee of the person behind you in the drive-thru?

How about stopping to help a little old lady in the grocery store who can't reach an item on the top shelf?

Or, maybe aided an embarrassed teenager at a convenience store who realizes he doesn't have quite enough change, by just quietly handing over a quarter to the store clerk?

Do you have a sponsor child? (a small price to pay per month to help a little friend)

We often think our generosity has to be counted in big dollar amounts. We see Bono and Brangelina spending millions of dollars to help cure AIDS and solve the world hunger issue but we don't see how we can ever possibly be a relevant part of that fight without the bucks and high profile. We think, if we can't do all that, then we can't do anything.

I think we may have lost sight of what true generosity is. Yes, it is absolutely wonderful when the big stars use their status and money to help the world. I'm not knocking them. I just want to remind you that the small "insignificant" things you might do can generate a ripple effect that can affect many people in great ways.

It may seem like nothing when you shovel your neighbours sidewalk or chat with the weird stranger on the bus. But what if that person is feeling like an absolute noboby who feels they are all alone? Your generous spirit could be the one thing that keeps them going for another day. Maybe what you did will boost their spirits and they will reach out to help another as well.

And then have you ever noticed when you do these things, not out of selfishness or wanting to earn some sort of gratitude or recognition, that the feeling you get for having given something is amazing - it makes you hold your head up a little higher, makes you want to do more, be better. It's a good feeling to help, even without receiving anything in return.

But then Karma works wonders, doesn't it? Suddenly, there's a day when you're in a rush and in an aggravatingly slow checkout at Walmart. You just had to run in there for a second (impossible! this is Walmart!) to get some children's tylenol for your teething toddler. You are twitching, leaning on one foot, shifting impatiently to the other. The person in front of you has a million things but so does every other person in every other lineup. And then BOOM! - the quiet voice in front of you says, "Ya wanna go ahead? You just have the one thing..." And you issue a silent little "Thank God" to heaven and tell the sweet person who has saved your day how wonderful they are.

And you have received your little reward here on earth (I'm sure our heavenly rewards will be greater for our generous hearts). What you did has come back to greet you with a smile.

Of course, it works the other way too. Ya know, with the bad stuff. Like the other night when the hubster came home late from a hockey game, walking in the room (I was in bed) and said, "I'm starving!" and I quickly made the smart-ass reply, "Well, if you think I'm making you something then the ice in that arena must have frozen your frikkin brain cells!" I wonder what I'll get in return for that? Have I ever blogged about being a good wife? Probably not.

What can I say? My generous spirit is a constant work in progress.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Me Love Cookies

Sesame Street was on our TV today, as usual.

And then the Cookie Monster segment. Cookie is talking to Zoe, the cute little orange monster, with a plate full of cookies in front of him.

and of course, you're hearing this conversation in your head with Cookie Monster's rough "me want cookie" voice...right?

Cookie: Would Zoe like chocolate chip cookie?

Zoe: No thanks

Cookie: Would Zoe like yummy oatmeal cookie?

Zoe: Nope, no thanks Cookie monster

Cookie: Why not Zoe?

Zoe: I don't like Cookies, Cookie Monster

Cookie: (exclaiming) NO LIKE COOKIES? Why NOT?

Zoe: I just don't like them, Cookie monster

Cookie: (putting his furry blue "paw" over his eyes) This is TERRIBLE! Zoe, how me be your friend if you no like cookies?

Zoe: Well, I don't mind if you love cookies

Cookie: You mean me can eat ALL these cookies?

Zoe: Yes

Cookie: This is beautiful friendship! (and, with the realization that he now does not have to share his favourite sweet, proceeds to hungrily gobble down all the cookies) YUM YUM YUM YUM!

And I totally cracked up because I understood Cookie Monster's selfish joy!!!

Can I just say that I think we all need a Zoe in our lives?

(or, someone who likes raisins in their cookies, which in my personal opinion is the same as not liking cookies).

My favourite cookie: Hey Dollies (they have graham crumbs, chocolate chips, sweet shredded coconut, and condensed milk). What's yours?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Who Gets to Decide?

I just saw this story on the news and I'm SO upset by it I just had to blog about it right away.

Here's what I understand from the report on TV, a few more details than the article:

A Montreal couple had a baby in 2007 after a very difficult labour which deprived their baby girl of oxygen for about 3o minutes. As a result, little Phebe now has cerebral palsy.

After her birth, the baby was on life support and had to use a feeding tube. The baby, surprisingly, then began to breathe on her own. However, she still needed a feeding tube. Specialists advised the parents that their baby girl would not have any quality of life, that she would probably be blind and/or deaf. They gave them the option of pulling the feeding tube and letting the baby die.

The parents then decided they were going to choose this option to pull the feeding tube and let their baby die because they didn't want her life to be full of suffering.

Then the ethics committee of the hospital decided the parents were NOT to be allowed this option and after a month in the hospital, the parents were told they were to take their little girl home. She is now 16 months old and neither blind nor deaf, not to mention being just the cutest little baby ever, don't you think? She has many developmental difficulties associated with her Cerebral Palsy and requires constant medical care.

The parents are now expecting their 2nd baby and are worried about how they are going to survive on one income. They are suing the hospital for not being able to have the last say on the fate of their daughter Phebe. I am not clear on WHY they are suing - are they suing because they are upset their daughter survived after not being permitted to follow through with their original decision? Or are they suing because of the associated medical costs of that decision? I don't quite understand.

Quite frankly, I'm confused and sickened by this entire story. Yes, it is very unfortunate this couple had a terrible experience with the birth process and ended up with a baby with cerebral palsy. No one wants to face that. However, the fact that they were choosing to essentially STARVE her to death by pulling her feeding tube makes me ill. They said she was breathing on her own at the point in which the specialists advised them this would be the best choice. And might I exclaim, WHAT KIND of FREAKIN' QUACKS were these so-called "doctors" to want parents to decide to pull a feeding tube on their newborn?

I'm glad the ethics committee stepped in. I know parents have to make some very tough decisions sometimes but I think in this situation, their minds MUST HAVE BEEN clouded over or somethin'! Otherwise, basically couldn't any parent with a baby born in a similar situation be allowed to just not feed their baby. A newborn is obviously completely dependant on us for nourishment. If my friend, who had a baby with a cleft palate and who couldn't feed "normally", decided she didn't want her baby, could she have also pulled the feeding tube? Could I, because of Sarah's kidney issues and future problems, have decided to just simply not feed her? Like, what the hell is happening here?!

Brutal, I tell ya! I'm so disgusted, I'm practically in tears over this. This precious little girl is adorable. Her life is as valid as any other child, any child who is perfectly healthy. Yes, the parents are struggling but COME ON, this is your baby!

So, who gets to decide? And at what cost? Do you agree or disagree? I welcome your thoughts.

Meal Idea Challenge

Christa's Blog has given us a challenge for her regular "Food Friday" post. She's asking 5 readers to post their meal idea.

Here's mine:

Chicken Fajitas

What you need:
Whole Grain Tortilla Shells
3 - 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts (depending on how many you're preparing for)
Olive Oil
Fat-free Italian Dressing
Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Peppers and any other veggies you like
Fajita seasonings (I buy the packet in the Mexican food aisle or you can create your own concoction using curry, garlic, onion, etc.)
Sour Cream (the "light" variety is preferred)
Shredded Cheese
*Optional: Brown Rice

First, cut your chicken into strips and fry with a small amount of olive oil & Italian dressing. Sprinkle in your seasonings and add any veggies you like.

Secondly, if you choose rice, prepare as you normally would. I use rice as an extra addition to my fajita or you can eat it on the side.

Third, chop your topping veggies (i.e. lettuce and tomato), shred your cheese.

Fourth: Warm the tortilla shells for just a few seconds in the microwave

Fifth: Set the table - don't forget your sour cream and salsa.

Lay it all out buffet style. Wrap & Enjoy!!

Makes a YUMMY quick meal!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Perfection - NOT a requirement!

I've decided I need to rant about something - something that I've discussed over and over and I just have to share my 2-cents worth.

Beware - serious "religious" talk ahead for my Non-religious :)

This is for those of you who think you are too bad, too sinful, too far away. For those of you who think you are too imperfect to be used of God. For those of you who have issue with something someone in the church said/did to you in the past.

Since when do Christians have to be perfect? And why, oh why, do Christians try to come across as being better than everyone else? Since when it that a requirement? Christians make a choice to follow God, to accept Jesus, to read their Bible, to try and be "good" people. But being "good" really has nothing to do with it. Church-goers/Bible thumpers/Jesus freaks or whatever you want to call them are people too! We are human and make mistakes. We say stupid things. We fall short. We sin. And that's why we need God!

My husband complains that the ones in the church are sometimes the worse ones. I've grown up seeing that man in the church who thinks he's "holier than thou" say things to people that are hurtful, chastise people for ridiculous non-sense. I've been there when tradition has gotten in the way of truth. I've seen people walk in the doors of the church, get "saved", and then the next day be out causing strife. I've seen it my whole life! But isn't that the point? Didn't Jesus die for sinners? For those who fail? Isn't church the best place for the worse ones, the broken ones, to be?

I am fascinated by the stories in the Bible, it's full of "normal" people who God chose to use in incredible ways.

Here are some of my favourites:

Samson was a man with incredible strength who God chose to destroy the Philistines. He was a Nazirite and, as such, could not shave his head, cut his hair, drink alcohol, or else he would lose that strength. But Samson had one crazy temper, went on slaughtering sprees, and had a thing for the ladies. He drove the Philistines mad and eventually told the secret of his God-given strength to his wife, Delilah, who then handed him over to his enemies. He used his final strength to serve God.

King David was a shepherd boy who loved his father and served God with a passion. He was a great poet and musician and quite good looking. Most know him best for slaughtering the giant with a little stone in a slingshot. David was a warrior who fought many battles and brought God's people together. But David was also manipulative, sexually-unrestrained, a murderer, and had a dysfunctional family he let get out of control. He was just a teenager when he killed Goliath and around 30 when he became king. He was seriously flawed but God used him greatly.

The Adulterous Woman was caught in the act and brought to Jesus for punishments by a group of men who called themselves "holy" but were a bunch of hypocrites. Jesus said, "He who is without sin, cast the first stone" and when none could speak up, Jesus forgave her. She was guilty, yes indeed, but Jesus saw past that and sent her on her way.

Saul was a man bent on destroying Christians everywhere. He was fierce and could not be swayed from his beliefs until the day he envisioned God on the road to Damascus. He then changed his name to Paul and became a great missionary for Christ. He didn't let his past get in the way of what God had in store for his future.

See? We don't have to be perfect people (thank God!) - we simple have to be use-able!

And whether you attend church or not, share my faith or not, this message can be applied to any area of life - Don't let the past get in your way! Don't ever let someone tell you you aren't good enough. We are all human and we all share the same sorrows and joy.

God is my judge. He's your judge. And he's the judge of the person who wronged you. God forgives us all (that's why he's God, no?) and we all deserve forgiveness.

And there concludes my sermon for today...hehe...Amen :)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Sarah's Birthday Party

Sarah's birthday party was a success with lots of friends coming to visit, lots of yummy hotdogs and cake, and lots of gorgeous gifts to open!

For those of you not on facebook, here is the public link to the photos I've posted of Sarah's party

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Sarah is TWO!

I can't believe it - Sarah is TWO already!!

Today we are having a birthday party for Sarah and invited all of the little preschoolers - about 15 in all. Hopefully we'll get a good turnout. I made an "In the Night Garden" cake with Makka Pakka. Sarah LOVES Makka Pakka! (Don't ask me what/who Makka Pakka is, I really don't even know except that it's one of those ridiculous characters that only children can love)

And here is one of the gifts I got for Sarah
It's a print on a teeshirt.
Sarah LOVES tomatoes and ketchup!
Isn't it hilarious with the evil giant ketchup bottle chasing the tomatoes?! It's called "We were tomatoes" hehe
Auntie Amanda and cousin Chloe are visiting us too for Sarah's birthday, which is very exciting. It's the first time they've been to our new house and Sarah is having lots of fun with her little playmate.

Update on the VCUG Sarah had done on Monday
The test did NOT go well. Poor little Sarah started to cry as soon as I put her on the xray table. (For some reason she's developed this weird fear of heights/change table surfaces and I guess it felt the same). She was wiggling around so much at one point after the catheter being inserted, I had to hold down her legs for the doctor to get a good xray. Not fun at all! Anyways, it looks like the reflux has actually gotten WORSE. I honestly didn't even know that was possible. I thought it would either stay the same or improve. I'm not sure what it all means and we are now waiting for the official report to be sent to Sarah's doctor. That will take about a week and I'm anxious to hear what he has to say about it all. Will keep you posted.
Now off to prepare for the party - will try to post pics in the next couple of days.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Happy are Wii

Yes, we have joined the "in" crowd of the gaming world and purchased a Wii, finally! I've wanted one for a while because it just looked like SO much fun to be interactive with a game system rather than just sitting on the couch moving fingers only on a controller. (I still call them "joysticks" like back in Atari

Anyways, right now we just have the sports games that came with the Wii but already it is awesome! And boy, are we feeling it?! Jamie and I have been competing with each other so much in baseball and boxing, etc. and this morning, in particular, we are stiff and sore! can we say "out of shape"?

I'm particularly looking forward to getting the Wii Fit but it wasn't it stock anywhere in Corner Brook for us to get it. I'm hoping it might help get me moving and exercising a little bit.

So, it looks like Jamie (and "Mii" too) is enjoying his early birthday gift...Jamie's birthday is tomorrow.

Happy Birthday Babe!

and on a more serious note...Sarah has to go for the VCUG tomorrow. It was supposed to be a couple weeks ago but got rescheduled. I am not looking forward to it. I just hope it goes as smoothly for Sarah as last time. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for improved test results.